Role Reversal

Theatre-in-the-round turned inside-out

Tired of seeing grungy naked people crawling around in bat guano and dove feathers while performing works such as Immensely Fascinating Anecdotes from the Pit of My Self-Obsession? Are tickets to Cirque de Soleil and the Blue Man Group beyond your means? Do you seek an alternative to the local-music routine that doesn't involve second-hand smoke or Powell Symphony Hall? As the king of all music once said: This one's for you, wherever you are...

Finally, there's locally produced alternative theater that exceeds the scope and standards of the theatrics we're accustomed to seeing in basement amphitheaters, lofts and galleries. Mary's Dream, the story of a young woman's search for meaning in life, surrounds the audience with live music, actors and huge video projections for an interactive kick to the seat of St. Louis' dramatic pants. In response to the raves of past audiences, the debut offering from InterSECT returns to the A.D. Brown Building (1136 Washington Avenue) at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, May 21, and Saturday, May 22. When was the last time a thespian collapsed onto your lap in heaving sobs (during a scheduled performance)?

"We knew the music was solid, the band was tight, the performers were ready and the concept [was] strong," says founder/director Tim Deegan, "but until we had an audience to interact with it, we just couldn't be sure just how good it was going to be. I know I'm not objective, but it was amazing. And the comments we've been getting from people have been over-the-top in praise of it."

Admission to Mary's Dream is $15. Tickets are only available at the door, which will open on both nights at 7:30 p.m. to potentially lengthy lines. For more information, call 314-920-1022 or visit www.marysdream.com. -- John Goddard

You Are the Missing Winner

THUR 5/20

Cine16's mission is to screen rarely seen 16mm prints of academic, documentary, industrial and artistic films. This month's program features one of the Cine's greatest finds: the Encyclopaedia Brittanica Films-produced 1969 adaptation of Shirley Jackson's short story, "The Lottery," complete with graphically realistic denouement. As you enjoy this twenty-minute short, keep in mind that it was originally produced with the intent of showing it to high schoolers; truly, the '60s were swingin'. Also on the program, which begins at 8 p.m. at Mad Art Gallery (2727 South 12th Street, 314-771-8230), are Larry Fox's Omega (described as a "psychedelic fantasy") and Chris Marker's La Jetée, a post-apocalyptic tale about changing the past to alter the present. Admission is free, and doors open at 7 p.m. so you can get there early and check out the current show in the gallery. -- Paul Friswold

Grow Up, Not Old

Grownups listen to jazz. Sadly, you, my friend, are a grownup -- despite repeated club outings marred by bouts of the heaves. Why don't you do some maturing and take your lush ass a little farther west on Washington Avenue to Jazz at the Bistro's open house (3536 Washington Avenue; 314-531-1012 or www.jatb.org) either Friday, May 21, or Saturday, May 22? For one thing, it's free. And for another, you'll get the inside scoop on who's performing during the nonprofit's upcoming tenth season (which begins in September). Your night of jazz (and food and drinks) won't have to wait that long, though: Bob Bennett performs at 8:30 and 10:15 p.m. both nights. Tenor saxophone and no cookie-tossing? Now that's a successful grownup night. -- Alison Sieloff

Name that Edifice

SAT 5/22

In the fifth grade, you'd get off the school bus, walk around downtown for a couple hours, see some buildings, listen to some adults talk about the buildings, not care, eat lunch, and go back to school. Now manifested as Metropolis' Downtown Architectural Walking Tour, the objective of the field trip is still to make you appreciate St. Louis' rich cultural history vis-à-vis its unique architecture.

Starting from the Old Courthouse (11 North Fourth Street), the Downtown-East tour takes you by the Eads Bridge and Old Cathedral. The Downtown-West leg leaves Union Station (Twentieth and Market streets) and highlights City Hall and Soldier's Memorial. Both tours begin at 10 a.m. and cost $5. Call 314-361-0334. -- R.L. Nave

 
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